Bring on Messi! And Higuain. And Aguero, Lamela, Lavezzi and all the rest.
The US national team will be taking on Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario after the No. 1 team in the world handled Venezuela 4-1 with relative ease in their quarterfinal on Saturday night. The USA took care of business two days earlier against Ecuador 2-1 on Thursday night in Seattle.
The US-Argentina semifinal will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston on Tuesday, June 21 at 9 pm ET (FS1, Univision, UDN).
What's At Stake
The semifinal berth guarantees that the USA will be playing on the weekend of June 25-26. It'll either be in the tournament final on Sunday, June 26 (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ) or in the 3rd-Place match on Saturday, June 25 (University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.). They'll face either Chile or Colombia -- the teams that advanced to the other semifinal.
US manager Jurgen Klinsmann will have work to do to put together a starting lineup. That's because he'll be missing three starters from the 2-1 win over Ecuador: midfielder Jermaine Jones (red card suspension), midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (yellow card accumulation) and forward Bobby Wood (yellow card accumulation).
Argentina will be without the suspended Nico Gaitan and it still remains unclear whether Angel Di Maria will recover from an adductor injury. Erik Lamela would slot in at left wing if Di Maria can't make it.
History Is Made
It's the second time in US national team history that they've made the semifinals of the Copa America. In 1995 the US made a memorable run which saw them beat Mexico in the quarterfinals on a penalty-kick shootout. In the semis, they fell 1-0 to Brazil.
USA in Houston
The USA has played on four previous occasions in Houston and they're still undefeated:
May 8, 2003: USA 0, Mexico 0 (Friendly @ Reliant Stadium)
Feb. 6, 2008: USA 2, Mexico 2 (Friendly @ Reliant Stadium)
June 22, 2011: USA 1, Panama 0 (CONCACAF Gold Cup @ Reliant Stadium)
January 29, 2013: USA 0, Canada 0 (Friendly @ BBVA Compass Stadium)
USA vs. Argentina
The Americans only have two all-time wins against Argentina in 10 meetings (2-6-2). One came in the 1995 Copa America held in Uruguay (3-0 in Paysandu) and the other in 1999 -- a 1-0 friendly victory in Washington, DC.
The last two meetings, one at the old Giants Stadium (2008) and the other at the new MetLife Stadium (2011), finished in a draw.
USA VS. ARGENTINA
May 30, 1928: USA 2, Argentina 11 (Olympics - Amsterdam)
July 26, 1930: USA 1, Argentina 6 (World Cup - Montevideo, Uruguay)
August 21, 1975: USA 0, Argentina 6 (Friendly - Mexico City)
May 19, 1991: USA 0, Argentina 1 (Friendly - Palo Alto, Calif.)
July 14, 1995: USA 3, Argentina 0 (Copa America - Paysandu, Uruguay)
June 13, 1999: USA 1, Argentina 0 (Friendly - Washington, DC)
February 8, 2003: USA 0, Argentina 1 (Friendly - Miami, Fla.)
June 28, 2007: USA 1, Argentina 4 (Copa America - Maracaibo, Venezuela)
June 8, 2008: USA 0, Argentina 0 (Friendly - East Rutherford, NJ)
March 26, 2011: USA 1, Argentina 1 (Friendly - East Rutherford, NJ)